19.4.12

Creating good eats

After taking care of a few errands this morning I needed something hearty to replenish my stamina. I felt like pasta-since it's quick to make for one I decided on making it fresh, using Anita's organic whole wheat flour. A little left over Rag├╣, fresh ricotta, fruitty extra virgin olive oil and some local strawberries to cleanse the palate makes for a good lunch.
 Over some time I have been developing my own chocolate chip cookie dough. After quite a few experiments I think I have got the product I want. Nice and soft yet a little chewy with a slight crisp touch around the edges. I use Cacao Berry's 72% dark chocolate nibs for the chocolate chips because a couverture chocolate has a much deeper flavour and better mouth feel then say a Hershey's chip.

This is a classic chocolate chip recipe I concocted but I felt like adding some cocoa powder and almonds to change it up a bit today.

"Chocolate chip cookies again!?" Exclaimed my mom...My dad could care less, if it has chocolate he's okay with it. She then demanded me to make her one of her favourite cookies, Cucidati. They are a Sicilian date filled cookie made during Christmas and are usually shaped like a Fig Newton or can be rolled like a jelly roll. I decided to change it up and add citrus zest to the dough, instead of dates I made a local cherry honey compote and added almonds.

I made some Calabrian Easter bread called Cuzzupe a couple days ago, also from the top of my noggin', but forgot to take a picture before the damn thing was devoured by my parents. I wrote down the measurements as it came out to be the best one to ever come out of our oven, even my mom can vouch for that! Fluffy, a little lemon and some anise liquor for a kick. There was a moment where I added the liquor and thought, "shiiiiit, I killed the yeast." Just after I remembered yeast is an alcohol shitting organism!

My mom always said I can't bake rustic like her and just wing it; needless to say I did and she likes these. :)
Nothing like bitter sweet dark chocolate molting out of a warm cookie!

5.4.12

Almost

Mise en place. Butter cream, macaronage, french meringue
 So I am officially employed at the award winning bakery, Terra Breads! After a month of doubting I got a call back! Feels like I never left and also like it has never calmed down since Christmas.
If you have not tried anything from them start with the pizza bianca or the pecan fruit bread and enjoy, as you put those "no carb" crap diets to rest and just EAT because "we eat to live."
piped out and drying
 On a related note the head baker at Terra Breads, Mary, makes some damn good pastries called macarons. No not the American macaroOns which are made with coconut but the Parisian almond meringues which can be flavoured any way you want and sandwich any filling from jam to ganache.
I'm not a fan of making such dainty items but because I have never tried or made a macaron and the idea of flavour pairing had sparked an urge to go out and grab ingredients to give them a go.

 So basically they are made from four ingredients: egg whites, sugar, icing sugar and almond flour. I can't stand the artificial colouring (as you can see on the left) some bakeries add to them so if you have seen them before and look at mine don't be fooled :) The almond flour and icing sugar are processed to a fine powder ( finer the smoother and shinier the top) and then folded to a certain point into the egg white meringue. That's it!
 You can have them on their own or sandwich them together with a filling. My pairings were: green tea, passion fruit butter cream; fresh basil, lemon butter cream and saffron, lemon butter cream.

They didn't turn out exactly the way they should be but after some advice from my teacher and Mary I will attempt them again...sometime later :)
Needless to say they were still great and everyone enjoyed them.